Interview: Event: Why Ukraine Matters: Five Years after Euromaidan -
Interview with Miriam Kosmehl

Miriam Kosmehl, Senior Expert Eastern Europe and EU Neighbourhood with Bertelsmann-Stiftung, Berlin.

Since the Euromaidan at the latest, the second largest European country in terms of area has been on a reform course. People speak of their "revolution of dignity”, referring to the dignity of every Ukrainian, which the state must respect. That is why reforms are important, and EU integration provides both a legal framework and anchor as well as motivation. The decision for democracy and the rule of law displeased neighboring Russia, which annexed Crimea and destabilized eastern Ukraine. In 2014, Ukraine lost control of a contiguous area on its side of the border. More than 10,000 people died, and the humanitarian plight of millions threatens to end as permanent poverty and underdevelopment. Berlin and Paris in particular have been striving for a ceasefire and the reintegration of the disputed territories based on the Minsk Agreements negotiated in 2014 and 2015 with their and OSCE support. The EU and its member states sanctioned Russia and foster reforms in the rest of Ukraine. In a conference in Madrid supported by Bertelsmann Stiftung, experts discuss the dual challenge of reform pressure and war Ukraine is facing.